Q:

What is asphalt made of?

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Quick Answer

Asphalt is a thermoplastic substance that results from petroleum refinement techniques. Because asphalt derives from petroleum processing after kerosene, gasoline and naphtha have already been removed, its composition is influenced by the residue of each and the make-up of the particular type of crude oil used in that processing plant.

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Full Answer

Because the composition of asphalt is so dependent on the type of oil used in the original factory, there are several different classes. Asphalt can be comprised of asphaltenes, naphthene aromatics, saturates or polar aromatics. Combinations of the above compounds are possible. Across the board, asphalt has general characteristics of almost complete absorption of light and strong binding and waterproofing properties.

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